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Full text of "To The Lighthouse"

THE   LIGHTHOUSE

Heaven could never be sufficiently praised!
She heard sounds in the house. James and Cam
must be coming. But Mr. Ramsay, as if he knew
that his time ran short, exerted upon her solitary
figure the immense pressure of his concentrated
woe; his age; his frailty; his desolation; when
suddenly, tossing his head impatiently, in his
annoyance—for, after all, what woman could resist
him?—he noticed that his boot-laces were untied.
Remarkable boots they were too, Lily thought,
looking down at them: sculptured; colossal; like
everything that Mr, Ramsay wore, from his
frayed tie to his half-buttoned waistcoat, his own
indisputably. She could see them walking to
his room of their own accord, expressive in
his absence of pathos, surliness, ill-temper,
charm.

" What beautiful boots! " she exclaimed. She
was ashamed of herself. To praise his boots when
he asked her to solace his soul; when he had
shown her his bleeding hands, his lacerated heart,
and asked her to pity them, then to say, cheer-
fully, " Ah, but what beautiful boots you wear! "
deserved, she knew, and she looked up expecting
to get it, in one of his sudden roars of ill-temper,
complete annihilation.

Instead, Mr. Ramsay smiled. His pall, his
draperies, his infirmities fell from him. Ah yes,

237